To this day I am fearful of cliffs and rugged west coast beaches because of what happened at […]
All the time I feel the tension between composing poetry and writing incidental prose, but I feel it as a creative interchange, not as a conflict. When I took care to describe, in my Wimbledon reports, how Jimmy Connors deployed his Early Grunt along with a two-handed line drive and Bjorn Borg returned it along with a grunt in Swedish, I was being as poetically concentrated as I could ever get. The secret of writing that kind of journalism was to give it everything. The River in the Sky is full of momentary scenes that I might have written as journalism, but the opportunity never arose. Now they have. And only just this morning I saw, out there in the garden, a butterfly getting into a flower. He would have been in the poem if he’d arrived earlier.
— Clive James, New Statesman, August ’18